Mushroom Surprise!

Spring cleaning in the garden and home is happening. There is stirring in the soil, and seeds to plant all around. Dusting of the hearth, and open windows greet the warmer, noticeably longer days as Leafhopper Farm. This means a lot more time outside cultivating the active ground.

The front yard garden, where our first cloche went in last spring with the help of Misja and Steve. A year before the cloche, a foundation of hugaculture (branches piled into rows, then covered with dirt to direct plant into) was laid, to mark out beds, create water catchment, and shape the steeper slope into a more accessible gardening space. The woody material for the hugaculture bed was collected from shrubs around the house.  Some greenery was removed completely, while others were only reshaped  to invite more sun into the space where beds have been established.

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Above is a picture of the front yard before it was repurposed to utilize more zone one garden space.

IMG_0333This is a spring 2014 picture of the front yard garden. The initial building of the beds created a great working system to add terraces, hold water, and create structure for the garden. In the second year of developing this space, we added more mulch and compost, along with more cardboard to continue shaping the beds. Below is what the frony yard garden looked like last summer, after additional hugaculture terracing and the cloche addition.

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And THIS is what I found in the awakening beds in spring 2016! Yes, these amazing, coveted mushrooms, which we’ve been hunting already in the woods nearby (without success), sprung up to greet us less than twenty feet from the front door. How wonderful a gift!

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I am not completely surprised by this sudden turn up of such a gem. The woody sub-straight of our garden is meant to encourage mycelia, adding to the richness of our soil as it works to support the transfer of nutrients to our veggies. Last year, I documented many wood-ear mushrooms growing on the cardboard mulch I threw over the initial rows of branches to hold soil. Now we’re harvesting morels from the woody material as an added bonus!

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